By Gerald V. Paul
When pals of European and Caribbean ancestry got together, it was a time to fall in love all over again and continue doing good in our community.
But in the laughter, food, friendship and bonding, there was another commonality: the passing of family members of both the Owen and Brewster families of ALS and cancer, respectively.
So, come New Year’s Eve? It’s an elegant dinner and dance, caressed with champagne at midnight, at the Scarborough Convention Centre, 20 Torham Place.
It’s a nostalgic night blessed by the consul general of Trinidad and Tobago and Loudon Owen of Firepoint Capital.
On hand ringing in the New Year with a spectacular live performance will be the one and only Joey (Pal) Lewis and his orchestra. Versatile Lewis, the organ/piano man, was the king of big band music with a style of slow dance.
Still remembered fondly, especially by Trinidadians, even among some of the younger generation, the memory lingers (tales out of school?) of Joey’s music. Also in the house: Guney, DJ Dave Gibbs, Singing Francine and lots more.
Yes, it’s about giving back to our community, making a difference and leaving a legacy.
Managing partner Owen is a lawyer by training with an MBA. His guiding principles are discipline, experience and global vision.
Owen co-founded and manages venture capital group McLean Watson Capital and serves on the boards of a range of private corporations including Quantec Geoscience Ltd, Kilo Goldmines Ltd, Genesis Land Development Corp, and Posera HDX.
Some Eyesers can recall Owen as chairman of i4i was called the Canadian Microsoft Slayer in 2011 when he won a patent infringement case against Microsoft in the U.S. Supreme Court. The court had ruled unanimously in favour of i4i in the long-running i4i vs Microsoft patent infringement lawsuit. I4i is a global technology company headquartered in Toronto.
As a result of this decision, i4i has won its patent infringement case against Microsoft. At trial the jury ruled in favour of i4i and awarded $200 million in damages (now upwards of $300 million with enhancements and interest).
Owen said, “Microsoft tried to gut the value of patents by introducing a lower standard for invalidating patents. It is now 100% clear that you can only invalidate a patent based on “clear and convincing” evidence.
Owen and John Eckert financed and advised Softimage, a world leader in high and 3D animation, in its growth from four to 250 employees. It made its IPO on Nasdaq in 1992 and was sold to Microsoft in 1994.
Owen and John served as joint COO for Softimage from 1993 to its sale. Prior to that, Owen practised corporate/commercial and securities law with a major Canadian law firm, concentrating on M&A and technology financing. He later founded a corporate law firm that specialized in representing growth companies.
All work and no play? Owen played professional hockey in Europe, was Ontario College boxing champion and co-founded the Canada Law Student Games.
And then there are movies. Venture Capitalist Owen launched the Toronto-based Know Rules Media. He is also a major shareholder in The Fight Network, a mixed martial arts TV channel controlled and run by former CanWest Global Communications Corp. CEO Leonard Asper.
Wow … lots of work. Small wonder the New Year’s Eve gig is a welcome lighter side of life, while doing good!